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The case concerns the form of material reception conditions provided in 2015, while applicants were accommodated in the reception facility in Heumensoord for their rest and preperation period (rust- en voorbereidingstijd, RVT). Typicaly this period lasts only a few days or a few weeks, but due to the large number of applications in 2015, it often lasted several months. During this time applicants are entitled to material reception conditions in kind. The legality of this provision was examined, as some applicants argued that due to the fact that they were stuck in this process phase, they should have become entitled to in-cash benefits (pocket money).
The Council of State concluded that the fact that the rest and preparation period is longer does not give rise to an exemption from the Dutch Reception Act, Article 9(5). The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers, COA) is not obliged to provide during this period material reception conditions in cash - even if the period takes much longer. The Council of State referred to Article 17(2) of the revised Reception Conditions Directive and noted that the COA is obliged to provide an adequate standard of living throughout reception, but the Directive does not oblige the agency to provide a certain form of reception or that the form of reception should be affected by the length of the process.
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